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Dear Gary | June Edition

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman
The Truth Network Radio
June 25, 2022 1:00 am

Dear Gary | June Edition

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman

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June 25, 2022 1:00 am

Dr. Gary Chapman is known around the world for the 5 Love Languages. But he’s not afraid to tackle your real-life struggles. In this podcast episode, questions about marriage difficulties, family conflict, and more. You might even hear an answer to something you’re going through. Don’t miss the questions and answers on the June edition of "Dear Gary" on Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman.

Featured resource: The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted

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So I need to keep fighting or is it time to move on? He's been really controlling and treating me like a child. It saddens my heart to have my grandchildren start to treat me the same way.

She's very suspicious because of no trust. Welcome to Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, New York Times bestselling author of "The 5 Love Languages" . Today it's our Dear Gary broadcast for June as Dr. Chapman takes a variety of questions about relationship struggles, the ups, the downs, and there are some ups and downs represented today. Yes, some deal with the love language concept. There's a slight disagreement a caller has about a particular phrase used with the topic of forgiveness. Oh, there's so much to get to and we want to make sure you know that at our website, fivelovelanguages.com, we have some more simple ways to strengthen relationships.

Just go to fivelovelanguages.com. Gary, this is our last Dear Gary. For a couple of months, July and August, we air Best of Building Relationships. And our featured resource today is The Marriage You've Always Wanted. Here's a tough question. Is it really possible to have? It all depends on what you wanted, Chris.

That's a good answer. If you don't want what is unrealistic, yes, you can have the marriage you've always wanted. If you want a marriage where the two of you will never disagree on anything, no, I don't think that's possible.

Two humans will never agree on everything. But we can have the kind of marriage that we wanted to have. I think at least most of us wanted to have a loving, caring, supportive relationship with our spouse. Yes, we can definitely have that.

Yes, and that communicates from my heart to your heart, you know, her heart. That's what you're talking about, but it's the conflict-free marriage is probably an expectation you need to let go of. Absolutely, Chris, because it'll never happen. You know, I think anybody who reflects will realize if you have a relationship with anyone and you spend a great deal of time together, sooner or later you're going to disagree on something. And if we don't learn how to respect each other's perspective, and we still don't have to agree, but we hear them out, we see where they're coming from, and then we just simply agree to disagree. And we don't have to agree on everything, but we don't have to fight over it either.

Right. Well, if you'd like to know more about that, it's our featured resource, The Marriage You've Always Wanted. It's really good news. If you're in a hard place and a struggle in your marriage, you may be closer to the marriage you've always wanted than you thought before. So just go to moodybooks.org, click on the Moody radio icon, the microphone right there, and you'll see it, The Marriage You've Always Wanted, moodybooks.org. All right, let's go to our calls. First up is a marriage in trouble because of a demand for an apology. Hi.

I have a question for Gary. This regards apologies for marital conflict. And the question I have is if you're falsely accused of something and the person still insists on an apology, to give a satisfactory apology, you'd have to make up a story about how you did something that you didn't do.

And that seems to be the one way to make peace. And perhaps you can help me with this. My wife and I are essentially getting divorced over false accusations that demand a made up story of apology.

So thank you. Well, Chris, it would be helpful, obviously, to know a little more about the situation. You know, if I were in a counseling office, I would ask, you know, what is the misunderstanding here? What is the accusation? But I think the role of the husband in this case, if he's the one being falsely accused, would be, first of all, to listen carefully to what she's accusing him of, and to ask questions, to make sure you try to understand why she perceives that you have wronged her. Because sometimes we hear this person, they're accusing us of something, we don't think it's true, but we really haven't understood what they're saying. So listening to her, asking questions, trying to understand where she's coming from, and what she's accusing you of, and why she's accusing you of it. Because sometimes, if you do that, you can honestly say, well, you know, honey, I can see now why you're accusing me of that. I can see where it came from, and I can see how that makes sense. Now, the reality is, and then you tell your side, your reality, what you think is the reality. Now, another possibility, Chris, in a situation like this, is that we really are guilty. And there's something behind that accusation.

Maybe not guilty of exactly what they're saying, but guilty of something that in some ways related to what they're saying. And so, I just think if we do more listening and trying to really understand where they're coming from, and then examine our own heart. You know, David prayed for himself and said, Lord, show me any wicked way that's in me. Maybe I'm not seeing it, so show it to me.

And God certainly will answer that prayer. So there's two approaches. One is listening more to try to understand. The other is really asking God to examine our heart and reveal to us any truth that might be in this accusation, anything associated with what I'm being accused of, so that I can, for that, honestly, apologize for that. What I hear you saying is, listen to beyond the accusation, listen to the feeling. For example, if his wife is accusing him of infidelity, and he knows that that's not true, the emotion that she feels is betrayal and hurt. And maybe that is the nub, if you go past what she's accused you of that's not true, and you say, yeah, but she feels betrayed and hurt, then you can do some more investigation of that, right?

Yeah, absolutely, Chris. To say to her, in his own words, of course, something like, you know, honey, now that I've listened to you, I can see that you're deeply hurt by this, because in your mind, you're convinced that this is something I did. And if I were in your place, I'd feel exactly like you feel. So I don't know exactly what to do about it at the moment, because I know I didn't do that.

But, you know, if I believed that, if I were in your shoes and believed that my husband had done this, I would be just as upset as you are. And I'm open for you to investigate this further, or I can investigate it further. We can try to find out, you know, where this is coming from. So yeah, then you're trying to find evidence for or against whatever the other person perceives.

Yeah. Well, and she sees how hard you're trying to hear her and what's really going on. The other thing that he mentioned, though, is keeping the peace, you know. If I just apologize and say, I'm sorry for whatever it is, even if I'm lying, at least I keep the peace. And he doesn't want to do that, I'm glad, because you don't want to just keep the peace.

That's not the highest goal. It's communication, right? Absolutely, Chris, and truth-telling with each other, trying to understand one's perception of truth, and then trying to get at what is the truth. All right, so that's the first.

We're going to come back to that apology thing in a little bit. This is Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman. Caller number two concerns another marriage in trouble. Do you fight or do you move on? Hey, Dr. Chapman, how are you doing? You actually just spoke about me today and your podcast, and I greatly appreciate that.

It did help. Things have gotten worser between me and my wife. I actually have moved back to Alabama. She and my kid are still in California.

I have one kid here with me, but I don't know, Doctor. I'm still very confused and lost. I'm trying everything in my power to be a better man, be a better Christian. I've been going to church as much as I can and reading the Bible more and more and reading just books and trying to stay positive and focused on what I need to do in my life to be a better man for her. But I just get nothing but negativity from her, and she tells me she doesn't want it anymore. But then she calls me and says just outrageous things and just twists my heart back and forth.

I would love your input on this, Doctor, and tell me what I need to do. Do I need to keep fighting or is it time to move on? Thank you for your input, sir.

Have a great one. I think that when you are in a situation like this caller describes, it's terribly easy just to give up and say, well, I've done all I can do. I am really trying to change things that need to be changed in my life. I'm really seeking God. I'm spending time in the Scriptures.

I'm trying to read books that will help me. But there's no response on the other side, so I'll just give up. I would say many times people give up too soon. If you can set a time limit, then I would say at least six months. That is to say for six months, I'm going to continue to seek God. I'm going to continue to let him change my life. I'm going to continue to try to reach out to her when I do have contact with her to make it positive. I'm going to find out, for example, what her love language is and try to look back and ask myself, have I spoken her love language?

And if not, to ask God to show me how can I do that even in this strained situation? Because the deepest need any of us have is the need for love. And there's a good chance she doesn't feel loved.

And there's a likely reason for that. And that is you may not even know her, what her love language is, or knowing it, you have not spoken it in a way that's meaningful to her. So I would say don't give up too soon.

I say six months, that's arbitrary. But in my counseling, I have seen people when they commit themselves to continue working on the marriage, doing the kind of things you talked about, and being open to go for counseling if and when she's ever open to do that, and trying to speak their love language in the meantime. I have seen the other person soften up and eventually become open and willing to go for counseling. So we can't change our spouse.

You know, we've all agreed to that through the years. We can't make somebody change. But we can influence them, either positively or negatively. Right now, she's having a negative influence on you.

You say every time you talk on the phone, she comes out and is saying negative things to you, no matter what you say or what you've done. So she's having a negative influence on you. And you see, if you follow that influence, then you just give up. But I'd say keep your eyes on God.

God never gives up on us and never gives up on relationships. So those are my thoughts. I think you're on the right track. Whatever failures you've seen in the past, I assume you have apologized for them. She may or may not have forgiven you. But at least I think you're moving in the right direction. I would just encourage you to keep walking and trusting God.

You can find out more by going to moodybooks.org. What do you do when your spouse treats you like a child? Here's our next caller.

Hi, Gary. I am concerned about mine and my husband's marriage. We've been married for 28 years, and it's going pretty good. But he's been really controlling and treating me like a child, and I am done dealing with that. I'm starting to get resentment towards him, and I don't like the way that that makes me feel.

I don't know what else to do. There's no communication. I try to communicate, but any time I do, he yells at me. I can't get a word in edgewise, so I just keep quiet. And it's getting to where I just don't even want to be near him because I have so much resentment and anger towards him.

If you could give me any tips on how to work with that and how to deal with the resentment that I feel towards my husband, that would be great. Thank you, Gary. You're so amazing. I think that in a situation like this caller describes, it is very, very painful. I'm deeply empathetic with this. There are those of us, men and women, who have what is typically called a controlling personality. That is, their basic emotional, psychological framework is to be in control, to make the decisions, to tell the other person what they're going to do, not to ask them to be a part of the decision-making process. And they do end up feeling like a child.

Even when it comes to money, for example, they so control the money that the other person has to go like a child and say, could I have enough money for an ice cream cone? You know, it's that feeling of I don't matter. I'm not a person here.

So I'm deeply empathetic with this. What do we do about it? That's the question. And there's not an easy answer. First of all, most controllers are not aware of how their personality is impacting the other person. If they're confronted with the idea or called a controller, they would say, I don't know what you're talking about. I don't control things.

I think the first thing, of course, is what you're already trying to do. And he's not giving you an audience, it sounds like. But I would say to say to him something like this. You know, honey, I don't know how you feel about us.

We've been married 28 years. It's a long time. But I don't I don't think you understand what I'm feeling and how I'm feeling. And I would like to share it with you so that you can understand and we can talk about what to do about it. But if he said, I don't want to hear about it, then you drop it for the moment.

But then you come back and say to him, you know, I tried to talk with you about this last week. And obviously you don't want to talk about it. I just want you to know I'm going to go for counseling because I can't go this by myself.

It's far too much for me to bear. I'm going to go for counseling. I would love for you to go with me. But even if you don't, I'm going to go because I've got to have help. And then you follow through with that.

First of all, you find your Christian counselor and you say that you are ready to follow through with that. Now, he knows, oh, this is serious. She's moving out. She's talking to somebody else about us. And you've given him a chance to go with you. He may or he may not. Most of the time, the initial response is he will not go with you.

But now you've got somebody outside the relationship who's trained to help people work through situations like this, that you can share all of this with and come up with ideas on step by step things that you can do that might help him open up to look at himself and to see how his behavior is impacting you. Simply to sit there and do nothing. It's not going to go away because until a controller is aware of their personality and how it impacts the other person, there will be no change. So taking that kind of step is a move in the right direction. Now, the counselor, of course, can help you with the process.

That's what happens after that. There is a place for tough love, that is to say, eventually down the road if there's no changes and you're at the point of a breakdown, as it were, emotional breakdown, that you say to him, I've been trying to get all the help I can. Obviously, you're not interested in our relationship.

Therefore, I'm going to... And you tell him what you're going to do. It might be moving with your mother, it might be something else. And you tell him, I'm not going to abandon you, but I'm not loving you by simply taking your behavior. It's just crushing me to death.

And so it's not a loving thing for me to stay here. Many times, that is the juncture at which a person wakes up and says, Ooh, okay, okay, okay, okay, I'll go for counseling, I'll go for counseling, I'll go for counseling. Okay, wonderful. Now there's hope because he's reaching out. So those are my thoughts.

It's not a, you know, one, two, three, four answer. But I do think that's the direction in which you move. Yeah, no guarantee. But I think when folks call here, and we'd love to hear your requests, your questions, your even response where you disagree with something that Gary says, 866-424-GARY, there is just this feel sometimes of, I don't think there is any hope here, but let me just see what Dr. Chapman has to say. And I love that in the counseling office, you would say to people, you know, I know you don't have any hope, hold on to the hope that I have. And just hearing that may be enough to propel you to take one more step. If you go to the website moodybooks.org, you'll see our featured resource, The Marriage You've Always Wanted by Dr. Chapman, moodybooks.org. Next up, a caller with some encouragement and a question. Hi, Gary.

My name is Paul. I read your Five Love Language book and a big fan of it, Married to Eight Years. And, you know, as things start to disintegrate and you're seeking that extra oomph, this book was a tremendous help.

And, you know, Married to Eight Years with a Family of Three Kids. And just, you know, it was a big boost and, you know, we try to stick to the rules in the book and, you know, it's just very informative and very helpful. You know, just a question that came to my mind and I'm trying to, you know, figure this out might be a little bit of a foolish question, but it turns out that my two top love languages, which is obviously physical touch and quality time is on my life's list, the bottom two, and then vice versa. My life's top two work out to be my bottom two. And we actually took the quiz and it was pretty interesting to see those results shake out. That my wife's top two, you know, first one is act of service.

That's hardcore. And then the second one was words of affirmation. The question is, how do you, you know, work with when the love language, you know, what's by me most important is by my wife, the least important, and, you know, vice versa. You know, it came to my mind that when, you know, when we both enjoy quality time together, it's like a home run. You know, we both, you know, we sit, we spend quality time, and we both, you know, get that love language, that bucket full.

But when it works, when none of us appreciate the language of our spouses, and we're just literally doing it because we know that this is the spouse's love language, but, you know, deep inside yourself, you have no enjoyment to supply this love language. How does something like that work? I'd appreciate, you know, if you can address this. I'd love to hear feedback on this. Thank you, Gary, and you changed the world. You deserve a lot. Thank you. Well, I'm glad to hear that the book has impacted Paul and his wife. Obviously, there's room for growth.

There's always room for growth, okay? What he's describing, many of our listeners can identify with, that their primary love language is number five for the other person. This is not uncommon. What it does mean is that if we both understand how I feel loved when they speak my language, that's how my spouse feels loved when I speak their language. See, it's not important to me. It doesn't communicate love to me, but it does for them what they do for me when they speak my language. If you can get that in your mind, it's not just a matter of, I've got to do this. It's a matter of, I choose to do this because I want them to feel my love.

I want them to feel loved. And the good news is, even though it doesn't come natural for you, that is, your number five is not natural for you to be speaking that. It's not necessarily easy for you to do that. Find out ways that will remind you to keep it on the front burner.

Maybe put their love language on a little post-it note and put it somewhere where you'll see it along the way several times throughout the day or out through the week. Just to remind you, because if we don't keep it on the front burner, and it's our number five, we will forget it. Just by nature, we won't even think about it. So we've got to keep the concept right on the top of our minds and our hearts that one of the biggest things in my marriage is to make sure that I am God's agent, communicating love to them in a language that's meaningful to them. And remember, Jesus said, when you do these things to others, you do it to me.

You do it to the least of these, you do it to me, Jesus said. So bring in the spiritual element to yourself. Lord, you know I'm married to this person and you know what their love language is and you know that that's just not me, that's not important to me.

I can't understand why it would be to them. But Lord, I ask you to pour your love into my heart and let me be your agent for expressing love to them in their love language. Listen, God will give you the power, the ability to do it. And the more you do it, the easier it becomes. It's just like learning another language.

The more time you spend learning and the more time you spend speaking another language, the more it begins to become more natural for you. It'll never be like it is for them, but it's easier the more you do it. So I would say that's my perspective. Now, in terms of you're receiving it and you feel like, well, they're just doing this because, you know, they feel like they have to do it.

No, no, no, no, no, no, no. You give them credit. It's hard for them. Yes, it's not natural for them. That's true, but they're doing it. So give them credit and don't draw back and think, well, they're just doing it because they have to, not because they want to.

Listen, we make choices and we can choose to go against our emotions and against our feelings and do what we know to be the right thing to do. So when they do, you give them credit for it. You tell them how wonderful they are.

You tell them how much you appreciate the fact that they're reaching out to you. Is it helpful for a spouse whose spouse has acts of service as a love language and that's not theirs? Is it helpful to make a list, you know, ahead of time? These 10 things would be really helpful for me to do for my spouse. And, you know, as a prompt and a reminder, and if that's a good idea, how do you keep from, you know, just checking off the list, doing this as if you're checking off a list and it becomes a requirement and an obligation rather than an act of love? Well, I think, Chris, to actually ask your spouse, you say, honey, I understand that.

I get it. Yours is acts of service. Why don't you make me a list of all the things that would be meaningful for you? You know, if taking out the trash is important to you, list it, you know. What would be meaningful to you?

What act of service? And then we go back and list them, you know, in order of importance, 1 through 10. You know, these are the ones that make me feel most love. Well, now I've got information.

It's not just a concept, but now I've got information on exactly what would make them feel love. And then it's a matter of choice. Now, you know, Chris, we can say, well, this is not natural for me.

I'm just going to check off, you know, I'm going to do them, but I'm not really into this. That's an attitude. We choose our attitude. No, you take a different attitude. You say, now I've got information on how to really effectively love my spouse.

Now, God, you bring these things to my mind. You give me your love. I want to express love to them. So keep my heart. Let me do it with my heart.

And you will be doing it not just because it's a duty. You'll be doing it because it's a love. Love is a choice. You're choosing to love them in the right love language.

God is always with you when you choose to love people. This is Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman. We've talked about the love languages today, and if you'd like to take an assessment of your love language absolutely free, just go to FiveLoveLanguages.com. You'll find more simple ways to strengthen relationships right there at FiveLoveLanguages.com. Our featured resource today is Dr. Chapman's book, The Marriage You've Always Wanted.

If you go to MoodyBooks.org and click the Moody Radio microphone right there, you'll see more about that, MoodyBooks.org. All right, here's a mom and a grandmother who has a hard question about relationships, and she needs a little bit of advice on how to move forward. Hi, Gary. I need some advice. I have three children. My youngest son is married. I came from a broken relationship or a marriage, ended up in divorce, and the way my husband treated me, my younger son is now treating me the same way, and now his children are starting to treat me the same way. His wife very much doesn't hardly speak to me, and I don't know what to do. I'm a Christian, and I'm trying to exhibit God's love, but I really struggle with the disrespect, no consideration, and I don't know what to do.

Part of me thinks I should just continue to just love, and yet I feel like I'm hurt a lot of times. I'm excluded a lot of times when I go to their home for a birthday celebration for my grandkids. You would never know I'm even in the house the way the communication is. My daughter-in-law doesn't speak to me at all. Other than if I ask her a question, she just says yes or no or yes or huh, and when I have family days at my house, she doesn't come to my house at all. I don't remember the last time she was at my house, and I know I'm the mother-in-law, and I know I need to be very cautious and careful how I respond and how I act, and I know that everybody has the privilege to raise their own children, but it saddens my heart to have my grandchildren now start to treat me the same way my daughter-in-law does and my son, and I really don't know what to do, and I just need some advice. Take good care, and I'll talk to you later.

Bye-bye. Well, I appreciate this grandmother calling in. I think there are grandmothers and grandfathers who can identify with what she's saying. That is, their relationship with their adult children is fractured, and often a mother-in-law element is in there, and in this case, the daughter-in-law is treating her in a similar way that her son is treating her, which sounds like they don't really care to be around her. Now, I have no idea why that is true, and maybe this grandmother doesn't have an idea why this is true. He may be strongly influenced by his wife who doesn't like you and who points out to him your flaws, and because he's committed to his wife and remember the Bible says you leave your father and mother, you be joined to your wife, so he feels that commitment to her, so he's siding with her.

I don't know that that's the case, but that could be the case. I think as a mother-in-law, I would try to talk with your son sometime when he's alone and just say to him, you know, you call him by his name, you know, I don't know how you feel, but I just want to ask you, why do you think that you and your wife treat me in the way you do? Am I reading it wrongly that you really don't like being around me?

And if so, what do I do or say that offends you? I'm just trying to understand why our relationship is where it is. It may be if the two of you are in private with this and you raise these questions, he will respond to you and he will tell you some things. Now, you may disagree with what he's saying and you may feel like he's reading you the wrong way, but keep open to just simply listen to what he says, because he will tell you the heart of what's going on there, and then rather than you're coming back and trying to convince him that he's reading it wrongly, you just say, well, you know, I really appreciate you sharing that because now I understand it better. I can see why you're responding to me that way, and I think if I were in your shoes, I would probably feel the same way you do.

If I perceive things as you perceive them, I would feel the way you feel, and I want to thank you for sharing that with me. You take that approach. You see, by nature, we come back to defend ourselves. If he shares the things about you that has caused him to have his attitude, we come back and say, well, you know that's not true, and we start arguing with them and defending ourselves.

No, no, no. Don't defend yourself. You accept that he has this perception of you. It may not be true from your perspective, but from his perspective, it is true, and so you're expressing appreciation for his sharing that, and you're saying to him, if I were in your shoes, this is a powerful statement, if I were in your shoes and saw things the way you do, I'd probably feel the same way you do.

You've helped me understand the situation much better here. Now, at that juncture, you can ask, is there anything I could do differently that might make things different for you? But since you've affirmed him, affirmed his feelings, affirmed his perspective, he's far more likely to say, Mom, I'll just give you one thing, and he'll tell you something, that if you would do this or stop doing this, it would be really, really helpful. You see, now you've taken the first step in not fighting him and not being defensive, but in understanding him and asking for his input on something you could do that might make things better. Now, having said all of this, and this is exactly what I would encourage you to do, but having said all of this, I have to be honest to say, one person cannot heal a relationship. You cannot heal a relationship with your adult son if he is unwilling to work on the relationship, and there likely may come a time if he doesn't respond in a positive way to you and you begin to make changes that he may suggest, there may be a time you just have to say, I'm just going to have to back off, you know, not push myself on them. If they want to live their lives with my grandchildren and them not even seeing me, it's painful, but if that's what they choose, then I have to respect that.

If you can accept the worst in your mind and say, with God's help, I could live and go on with God no matter what their decision is, don't assume it's going to end up that way. I would assume that if you can take the approach I described, he will be more open and things can be healed, and that would be my desire. I wrote a book called How to Really Love Your Adult Child. I wrote it with Dr. Ross Campbell, who is a Christian psychiatrist. He's actually in heaven now, but we wrote that book several years ago, How to Really Love Your Adult Child. I think you'd probably find it helpful, and I would encourage you to read that as well.

How to Really Love Your Adult Child. That answer is going to help not only the caller but somebody else. That's the wonderful thing about a program like this, when you ask a question from your heart and the struggle that you're going through in your relationship, it invariably will help somebody else who's going through something similar. Maybe you've been hanging back and you've never called 1-866-424-GARY to ask your question. You can do it anonymously. Sometimes we'll even transcribe it so that people can't hear your voice. We can do that as well. We always want to be respectful of your privacy, but we'd love to hear your question or comment.

1-866-424-GARY. I mentioned a little earlier, Gary, that we had a response to a program about apologies. Here is another response to that program.

Hello. I was listening to your program today about apology languages. The fifth one is asking for forgiveness and you said, as an example, I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me or can you find it in your heart to forgive me. That always strikes me as putting pressure on the person who you're asking for the forgiveness from. It's like saying, if you don't forgive me, there's something wrong with your heart. It's like when someone will say, I know God has forgiven me, so I hope you will too.

It's putting pressure on you. You're supposed to be a Christian, so you've got to forgive me, or else something's wrong with you. I'd just like somebody to just say, will you forgive me? I just wanted to mention that. That's my only complaint.

I like your program and this one is especially good. Thank you. Bye. I can agree with the caller. If he prefers to be asked simply, will you forgive me? I would say, if you're a spouse or somebody has a close friendship with him, be aware of that.

That's what he prefers. That's the apology language he prefers. That's why information about what the other person considers to be a sincere apology is so important.

I would just say for him, share that with your wife. Share that with anybody else that you have a close relationship with so they know what you consider to be a sincere apology. I can also identify with what the caller is saying or suggesting, that to say, I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me, or God has forgiven me and I hope you'll forgive me. I can understand why that might be interpreted to mean, you've got to do this.

We're kind of putting pressure on them to do this. I wouldn't perceive it that way. I don't perceive it that way. It's just verbalizing my heart that, you know, I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me. I realize I've hurt you very much and it hurts me to know that I've hurt you. But if it comes across that way, that that statement is putting pressure on you to forgive, then, and I knew that, then I would change my wording and I would simply say, will you forgive me? Because forgiveness is a choice. We cannot make people forgive us. We can request forgiveness.

I want to play something that the gentleman called again. I don't know if it was the call that you just heard, but he called back at a different time with an addendum to this. I don't think this has ever happened on our program before, Gary. Here's what he said.

Hi, Gary. I think I made a mess out of my comment, complaint. I should have just asked, said, here's how I feel about this and what do you think? But instead I came across it as being very critical. Well, anyway, I'm not saying this very well, but I'm sorry for the way I spoke to you. You know, anyway, I should have, like I said, said it differently. I really appreciate you and your ministry and everything. And so anyway, you didn't deserve that. And so anyhow, I look forward to reading your book.

And I want to say also that your five love languages and God speaks your love language, really terrific books. Thank you. Bye. Well, Chris, I appreciate the caller calling back.

I think it's the same person. And let me say, first of all, if you're calling to apologize, I want to forgive you. OK?

And I will forgive you. Now, from my perspective, I didn't really see that as a criticism. I saw it as you expressing a perception of the fact that what I said would put pressure on people. So I didn't really see it as anything that was wrong. But maybe that's because I'm a counselor.

OK? I try to listen to people's heart rather than just their words. So, but at any rate, please know that I appreciate your calling, appreciate your honesty, and appreciate your sensitivity to the possibility that maybe the way you said it was not the best way to say it. So may God bless you as you continue to build relationships.

And my perspective is that you will probably have good relationships because you're sensitive to how you come across and how you impact people. This is Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" . Our featured resource today is The Marriage You've Always Wanted. You can find out more at moodybooks.org.

That's moodybooks.org. Gary, I don't think we've ever had this question posed on the program before. Here's our next caller.

Hi, Gary. I have a question. How would you counsel a woman that has been held captive through hypnotic influence and now she can't stand to be, to have any physical touch? She's very suspicious of men and has become just isolated because of no trust and can't tolerate anyone trying to touch her or shake her hand or anything. Thanks.

Bye. Well, Chris, I would wonder how she's using the word hypnotic, whether she's really talking about, you know, a hypnotic trance that someone has put on her or whether she's just using that as a term that, you know, I've just been so controlled by men, so treated badly by men that now I have trouble even letting anybody touch me, especially men, touch me even with a handshake. And I've kind of withdrawn from the world because I don't trust anyone.

And I'm guessing that it's the latter, that she, what, I don't know what happened, but something happened that someone so controlled her and did things that were harmful to her that now she's having a hard time breaking free from that and realizing that not everyone is like the person who did that to her. I would suggest that this person could really profit from talking with a Christian counselor and sharing with that counselor more fully what has gone on in the past in your life that has influenced you in this way. That's what counselors are for.

They're listeners who want to hear the struggle of people and help them break the power of being dominated by the things that happened to us in the past. So it would be well worth your time and energy to find a Christian counselor. And if you don't know where to turn for that, you might talk to a pastor of some church in your community that you trust. You might call Focus on the Family. They can help you find, they have counselors there during the daytime. They won't do long-term counseling, but they can help you find a counselor in your area.

So it's not that difficult to find a Christian counselor, and I think that would be my first recommendation for you. Oh, so many questions that we've had come in over the last few weeks. And I'd love to hear yours, a response, or a different question, 866-424-GARY. We've got just another time for someone who wrote another program on Moody Radio, a teaching program about a message that aired around Mother's Day.

And I want you to respond to this. I'm listening to your podcast about honoring your parents, and I feel you should have addressed ways for the children of borderline personality disorder or other detrimental narcissistic disorders that these mothers have that cause extreme mental and emotional harm to their children. Yes, you must honor your parents, but practically this is impossible with parents with mental, physical, and emotionally abusive behaviors. Boundaries must be put in place to protect the traumatized adult children. Please speak practical and godly advice to abused adult children who are already filled with gaslighted guilt and shame. So you can hear some of that coming out from her own experience, Gary.

I want to honor my mom or dad, but there are factors here that I have to have somebody help me with. What do you say to that? Well, first of all, Chris, I'm empathetic with this caller, and thanks for reading what they said. Any time there is severe mental illness, which is what she's describing here, of any sort, it presents a totally different platform. You know, people who are healthy mentally can take the principles that we're talking about on this program and apply them to their lives. People who, they would have to be working with a counselor who is helping them process their thoughts, their feelings, and their behavior in order for there to be any change at all. Because mental illness doesn't just go away with the passing of time.

And I understand that a child, an adult child, who is dealing with a parent who has severe mental difficulties, the question is how can I honor them because the things they do and say and have done and said are not honorable. And I understand that. I think, however, what I would say is we can love them. And love seeks the best of the other person. So an act of love would be whatever you can do to try to get the person who has the mental problems, the help they need to take positive steps.

And perhaps that's already been done. And I understand that. And maybe you're at the point of giving up because you've tried to do that and they haven't responded. But we can think in terms of, Lord, how can I express love to them? It doesn't mean you're honoring the person they are, honoring what they've done, but you love them.

And love is a expression of honor. They are my parents. They gave me life.

I would not be here without them. Therefore, Father, talking to God, I want to be one who loves them. So show me, bring to my mind what would be the loving thing for me to do for my parents. This concept applies to any relationship. It may not be the parents. It may be somebody else in your family that you're dealing with. But as Christians, we are called upon God to express love to people. The Bible says God is love, and God pours His love into our hearts, and we become God's agents for loving.

So maybe I would just change the word honor and change it to love, or to say that love is a way to honor your parents. Well, before we conclude today, I want to give our number again where you can leave a question for Dr. Chapman. We can't call you back, but you may hear your question here on the air at 1-866-424-GARY. We'd love to hear from you, 866-424-GARY. And don't forget to check out our featured resource, The Marriage You've Always Wanted.

Just go to moodybooks.org to find out more, moodybooks.org. And next week, we begin our summer best of broadcast. And we'll start with a program about dads and daughters having conversations. Don't miss Michelle Canfield in one week. Well, a big thank you to our production team, Steve Wick and Janice Todd. Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman is a production of Moody Radio in association with Moody Publishers, a ministry of Moody Bible Institute. Thanks for listening.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-29 18:21:18 / 2023-03-29 18:39:43 / 18

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